Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Food allergies more widespread among inner-city children

15.08.2014

One in 10 allergic to milk, eggs or peanuts

Already known for their higher-than-usual risk of asthma and environmental allergies, young inner-city children appear to suffer disproportionately from food allergies as well, according to results of a study led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

The federally funded multi-center study, described online Aug. 13 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that at least one in 10 children from four large U.S. cities has a food allergy. However, the true number may be even higher, the investigators say, because the study used highly stringent criteria and counted only the three most common food allergies.

"Our findings are a wake-up call, signaling an urgent need to unravel the causes, contributors and mechanisms that drive the high prevalence of food allergies among an already vulnerable group known for its high risk of asthma and environmental allergies," says senior investigator Robert Wood, M.D., director of pediatric allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins.

Nearly 3 percent of adults and 6 percent of young children in the United States have one or more food allergies, according to the latest estimates from the National Institutes of Health. Moreover, Wood notes, food allergies among children have been on a steady rise over the last 20 years, and experts have long suspected that children in urban areas are no exception. The new study largely affirms that trend but also points to a subgroup of children who may have higher-than-average allergy risk.

For the study, the investigative team followed 516 inner-city children from birth through age 5, living in Baltimore, Boston, New York City and St. Louis. Each year of the study, the investigators measured each child's exposure to household allergens, conducted physical exams, tracked the children's diets and reviewed their health histories.

The team also analyzed blood samples at 1, 2, 3 and 5 years to measure the presence of food-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to milk, eggs and peanuts. IgE antibodies to food proteins are immune chemicals released by the body that herald a food allergy. Based on blood test results, other clinical findings and symptoms, the investigators classified a child as allergic, possibly allergic, sensitive to a particular substance or not sensitive.

Sensitization to a substance, signaled by the presence of IgE antibodies in the blood, renders a person more likely to develop allergic symptoms, but it is not sufficient to diagnose a true food allergy, which is always marked by clinical symptoms. In this study, the investigative team deemed allergic only those children who had both clinical symptoms and elevated IgE antibodies. This stringent criterion likely underestimates the true number of kids with food allergies, Wood adds.

Overall, more than half (55 percent) of children in the study were classified as sensitive to milk, eggs or peanuts. Nearly 10 percent of them met criteria for a full-blown food allergy. The most common allergy was to peanuts (6 percent), followed by eggs (4.3 percent) and milk (2.7 percent).

An additional 17 percent were classified as "possibly allergic," a subgroup that had elevated IgE antibodies but no clear history of allergic reactions to peanuts, eggs or milk. Twenty-nine percent were classified as "sensitive but tolerant," a group that included those with elevated IgE antibodies and a known history of consuming allergenic foods but who were able to tolerate the foods in question without allergic symptoms.

Breastfed children appeared to have a higher risk for developing food allergies. Children living in houses with higher levels of endotoxin, a molecule released by certain types of bacteria, were less likely to have a food allergy. This latter finding, the investigators say, is consistent with the so-called hygiene hypothesis, which suggests that early-life exposure to certain microbes can play a protective role against asthma and allergies.

Children with food allergies were also more likely to suffer from environmental allergies, wheezing and eczema, an allergic skin condition.

###

Other institutions involved in the research included Boston University School of Medicine, the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Columbia University Medical Center in New York, and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

The study was funded by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, under grant numbers NO1-AI-25496, NO1-AI-25482, HHSN272200900052C and HHSN272201000052I. Additional support was provided by the National Center for Research Resources under grants, RR00052, M01RR00533, 1UL1RR025771, M01RR00071, 1UL1RR024156, and 5UL1RR024992-02.

Ekaterina Pesheva, epeshev1@jhmi.edu (410) 502-9433

Helen Jones, hjones49@jhmi.edu (410) 502-9422

Related on the Web:

Newborns Exposed to Dirt, Dander and Germs May Have Lower Allergy and Asthma Risk

http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/Newborns-Exposed-to-Dirt-Dander-and-Germs-May-Have-Lower-Allergy-and-Asthma-Risk/

First Long-Term Study of Food Allergy Treatment: 'Proceed with Caution'

http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/first-long-term-study-of-food-allergy-treatment.aspx

Egg Therapy Benefits Children Allergic to Eggs

http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/Egg-Therapy-Benefits-Children-Allergic-to-Eggs.aspx

Drinking Milk to Ease Milk Allergy?

http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/drinking-milk-to-ease-milk-allergy.aspx

Ekaterina Pesheva | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Allergy Children Hopkins Medicine allergies eggs investigators milk sensitive symptoms

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Custom-tailored strategy against glioblastomas
26.09.2016 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New leukemia treatment offers hope
23.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New welding process joins dissimilar sheets better

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

HLF: From an experiment to an establishment

29.09.2016 | Event News

European Health Forum Gastein 2016 kicks off today

28.09.2016 | Event News

Laser use for neurosurgery and biofabrication - LaserForum 2016 focuses on medical technology

27.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Multiferroic Materials from Building Blocks

29.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

Silicon Fluorescent Material Developed Enabling Observations under a Bright “Biological Optical Window”

29.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

X-shape Bio-inspired Structures

29.09.2016 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>